TexDef07 saidThe Marseillaise is surely the most bloodcurdling. Lots of references to impure blood drenching the land and people having their throats cut.
Definitely predates the concept of PC.
I second that emotion... so much for Franco-German friendship. After all, "we" are the ferocious soldiers with the bloody banners who are strangling their children and friends...
On the other hand, while it may not be the most beautiful national anthem in the world, it is perhaps the most misunderstood: Germany.
It was written almost a century prior to the rise of the Nazis, at a time between the First Reich (lasting from the 11th century until its destruction under Napoleon in 1806) and the Second Reich (founded in 1871, when Bismarck reunited the German States (not including Austria) when Germany was first struggling with democracy and reunification. "Deutschland über alles" is a call to unity (as opposed to Bavaria above all, or Prussia above all) and not superiority of a nation that did not exist yet.
The first verse calls for unity in defense of each other and mentions the rivers roughly representing the former borders of the empire: Maas/Meuse in the West (today Belgium/Netherlands), Memel in the East (today Russia), Etsch/Adige in the South (today Italy) and Belt in the Norht (today Denmark.)
The second verse extols the virtues of German culture and their effect on the world, as well as German men: German women, loyalty, wine, and song.
The third verse is about the cornerstones of German civilization today: Unity, Rights, and Freedom.
My favorite though is the Dutch anthem as well:
(They translated incorrectly, though. William of Nassau was of German blood...)